Every Road Leads Somewhere

Every Road Leads Somewhere Facebook

Every Road Leads Somewhere

January 2, 2020

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. -Lewis Carroll

This quote, taken from Alice in Wonderland, illustrates the importance of focus. If we don’t have a goal, it doesn’t matter what direction we take.

By contrast, we have all heard “all roads lead to Rome”. This medieval saying refers to the advanced roads of the Roman Empire. Through careful and focused planning, all roads literally did lead back to the capital. Recent evidence affirms the effectiveness of their focus; almost all roads in Europe still lead back to Rome.

Although most of us readily acknowledge the importance of focus, we fully embrace it at the start of each new year. As we reflect on the past year, we renew our resolve to do better and to be better in the year ahead.

This year, 2020, launches not only a new year, but also a new decade. As an added bonus, this year I will become a sexagenarian (someone in their sixties). 

Since I didn’t grow up in the Christian faith, the first two decades of my life reflected an absence of God. In my most recent blog posts I recapped the Jesus I came to know and decided to follow. 

I loved revisiting the passages which framed my faith. But as I did, I wondered if I hadn’t lost something along the way. Although I never walked away from my faith, I sense my focus shifted a bit over the years.

My thoughts and conversations remain peppered with “God-talk”, but not necessarily “Jesus-talk”. I think of spiritual lessons, the work of the Holy Spirit, Biblical truths, and God as my father. None of this is wrong, but I never want to lose my awe and love for Jesus.

An observation once made by an unbeliever (whom I love and deeply respect) pricks my memory. Shortly after my conversion he commented, “Christianity is ninety percent Paul and ten percent Jesus.” At the time, I didn’t know how to respond. But years of studying the Bible helped me understand my friend’s perspective.

Of the 27 books in the New Testament, only the four gospels center on the actual ministry and life of Jesus. The remaining 23 books, many in the form of letters, focus on the ministry of the apostles and provide practical advice for Christian living. Because Paul authored thirteen of these books, most people would agree he remains one of the most influential of the apostles. I can understand how someone with a limited view of the Bible could believe Paul to be more influential to Christianity than Jesus.

In contrast, I remember a guest preacher from my early days in the church. Remarkably, this man did not carry a Bible with him when he approached the pulpit. However, as he preached, he recited many passages, all from memory. 

Even more noteworthy, ninety percent of the lessons he taught or the sermons he preached came from one of the four gospels. Although he did at times bring in other Scripture, he made it a point to always start and end with Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Honestly, this has not been my practice. I can’t help but wonder if someone could look at me and say, “Shirley is ninety percent Paul and ten percent Jesus”? 

So after much reflection and prayer, my focus word for 2020 is simply “Jesus”. As He states:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)

Truthfully every road does lead somewhere. For this reason, we should carefully select the paths we take. 

As I step forward into this new year and decade, I choose to rekindle my initial focus on Jesus. He is the true path, and the reason I became a Christian. For 2020, I offer this simple prayer:

May all my roads lead me back to Jesus.

Wherever I go, whatever I do, I pray to seek Jesus in all things. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

Every Road Leads Somewhere

January 2, 2020

Every Road Leads Somewhere Facebook

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. -Lewis Carroll

This quote, taken from Alice in Wonderland, illustrates the importance of focus. If we don’t have a goal, it doesn’t matter what direction we take.

By contrast, we have all heard “all roads lead to Rome”. This medieval saying refers to the advanced roads of the Roman Empire. Through careful and focused planning, all roads literally did lead back to the capital. Recent evidence affirms the effectiveness of their focus; almost all roads in Europe still lead back to Rome.

Although most of us readily acknowledge the importance of focus, we fully embrace it at the start of each new year. As we reflect on the past year, we renew our resolve to do better and to be better in the year ahead.

This year, 2020, launches not only a new year, but also a new decade. As an added bonus, this year I will become a sexagenarian (someone in their sixties). 

Since I didn’t grow up in the Christian faith, the first two decades of my life reflected an absence of God. In my most recent blog posts I recapped the Jesus I came to know and decided to follow. 

I loved revisiting the passages which framed my faith. But as I did, I wondered if I hadn’t lost something along the way. Although I never walked away from my faith, I sense my focus shifted a bit over the years.

My thoughts and conversations remain peppered with “God-talk”, but not necessarily “Jesus-talk”. I think of spiritual lessons, the work of the Holy Spirit, Biblical truths, and God as my father. None of this is wrong, but I never want to lose my awe and love for Jesus.

An observation once made by an unbeliever (whom I love and deeply respect) pricks my memory. Shortly after my conversion he commented, “Christianity is ninety percent Paul and ten percent Jesus.” At the time, I didn’t know how to respond. But years of studying the Bible helped me understand my friend’s perspective.

Of the 27 books in the New Testament, only the four gospels center on the actual ministry and life of Jesus. The remaining 23 books, many in the form of letters, focus on the ministry of the apostles and provide practical advice for Christian living. Because Paul authored thirteen of these books, most people would agree he remains one of the most influential of the apostles. I can understand how someone with a limited view of the Bible could believe Paul to be more influential to Christianity than Jesus.

In contrast, I remember a guest preacher from my early days in the church. Remarkably, this man did not carry a Bible with him when he approached the pulpit. However, as he preached, he recited many passages, all from memory. 

Even more noteworthy, ninety percent of the lessons he taught or the sermons he preached came from one of the four gospels. Although he did at times bring in other Scripture, he made it a point to always start and end with Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Honestly, this has not been my practice. I can’t help but wonder if someone could look at me and say, “Shirley is ninety percent Paul and ten percent Jesus”? 

So after much reflection and prayer, my focus word for 2020 is simply “Jesus”. As He states:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)

Truthfully every road does lead somewhere. For this reason, we should carefully select the paths we take. 

As I step forward into this new year and decade, I choose to rekindle my initial focus on Jesus. He is the true path, and the reason I became a Christian. For 2020, I offer this simple prayer:

May all my roads lead me back to Jesus.

Wherever I go, whatever I do, I pray to seek Jesus in all things. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

Leave a Comment